Danish: Pronunciation of "e" and "i" in Danish


Hi! I have a problem in pronouncing these words: kvinde/minde and milde, with my mouth and they all sound the same to my ears

From what I got from the dictionary: Udtale — ordnet.dk

That "e" in the word "kvinde": ˈkvenə and the word "minde": ˈmenə sounds like "i" in the word "milde": ˈˈmilə, so could you give me tips or ways for me to pronounce them. Thanks!

  • The precise vowel sounds are very often the hardest part of learning Danish, so you're not alone on this.

    The i in milde is like "ea" in the English word "mean". While the i in "minde" is like the i in the English words "in" and "window"

    Let me know if this helps :)

    So in kvinde/minde your mouth is open wider than in the sound in milde
    Thanks, I kind of got the explanation. But, how about the long ones?

    "Mene" and "mile", again I still hear these words with the same long sound "i"

    "Mile" ˈmiːlə and "mene" ˈmeːnə

    Do these words have a same sound? Thanks!
    No, mile and mene have different vowel sounds.

    As a Norwegian, speaking a language very closely related to Danish, I find it extremely hard to distinguish between Danish i - e - æ.
    For the long ones, there is a regular pattern, though, between writing and pronunciation.
    The greatest difficulty is with the short vowels, where written i has two pronunciations (i vs. e), as does e (e vs. æ).

    Tip: Listen repeatedly to the pronunciations in Den Danske Ordbog of


    And similarly for the short ones:

    i: kitte
    e: dette (under denne, second alternative pronunciation)
    æ: dette (under denne, first alternative pronunciation)
    a: fatte
    Danish /i/ corresponds to Indonesian i. Danish /e/ is in fact between what you write i and é. The long vowels have the same quality.
    Since the second sound does not exist in your tongue (as far as I know) it may be hard for you to identify it when heard. I think it is easier for you to produce it though. You can try and say éi, éi, etc. faster and faster, and you can get it when you don't hear more than one sound anymore.
    Another way to get it is to pronounce é and raise your tongue/close your mouth until you obtain a vowel between é and i.
    < Off topic comments removed. Cagey, moderator. >

    And now for a non phonetic sign elaboration on these words kvinde that is started biting the lower lip with upper teeth tossing the lip outwards kwe néh and minde is meh neh the word milde is Me as in I (ego) and lde sound as the start of the word letter with a silent d me lé the difference on one two L is that two L's accelerates initial wovels and stumps of the following hearing the word mile as in Råbjerg Mile meaning a pile of dirt that sound as mee leh
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